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Many men struggling with sexual integrity issues are well practiced in the blame game. I know I was good at it during my addiction and, unfortunately, sometimes still struggle with playing it. It’s so easy! We simply pawn off our responsibility and make someone or something else the culprit. In my addiction I blamed my wife for my indiscretions. As if somehow more sexual intimacy with my wife would change my acting out. Ha! Not a chance. I blamed a mistress for hitting on me. Her fault, not mine. I blamed traveling for work for my duplicity. The internet for my porn addiction. Our hyper-sexualized culture for my sexualized emotions. The devil made me do it. My dog ate my homework too.
Did you know nothing will change until we take responsibility for our actions?
The reality is that for anything to be different, for our marriages to be restored, for our addictions to be healed, for our faith to grow, for our sanctification to continue we have to be the person to point to. We must stand in front of the mirror and accept that the man we see is the only person on the planet who has the power to change us. Then we must accept that without relying on God not much will ultimately change. Take responsibility then lean on God; it’s a pretty good formula.
So, I hope you’ll stop the blame game. Let people off the hook and decide it starts with you. Today.
The new year is approaching, and so are the resolutions. For a ton of men around the country their resolution will be to quit porn. Maybe it will be yours? Unfortunately many of those same men will decide they can do so in quiet isolation, keeping their secrets to themselves, thinking they can pray their way out of an addiction they’ve behaved their way into.
It just won’t happen.
You’ll never find freedom this way.
The road to perpetual disappointment is paved with resolutions, good intentions and is littered with failed attempts to quit. As my friend Doug Barnes, an EMB Counselor says, the road to freedom is paved with connection, accountability and relationships.
I hope you’ll change your new year’s resolution. Instead of quitting porn, I urge you to commit to daily accountability. Instead of focusing on what you want to stop, begin to focus on what you want to start. Resolve yourself to finding a couple of people willing to walk this with you: every single day. Ask them to receive your phone calls and to call you, to encourage you in the struggle and to demand you take next steps for help like counseling or the EMB workshop. If you’re married, ask them to help you find new ways to pursue your wife (non-sexually) and to serve her well. Ask them to help you renew your relationship with God and find new ways to pursue Him. With the help of people willing to walk with you, porn can become a distant memory. It will take time and effort, but it will be worth it. If you will commit to daily connection with God and a few healthy, safe men, your life will be different in a year.
2012 can be the year it all changes. I hope it will be for you.